Let's work together to end violence against women

Friday, July 28, 2017

Through collaborators and comrades in the gender struggle, South Africa can end violence on women if they work together, says Minister in the Presidency for Women, Susan Shabangu.

“Our success depends on a sustained and strong women’s movement that challenges gendered social hierarchies and patriarchy.

“When we form alliances between state institutions and women’s movement actors, such as Tshwaranang, the outcomes are likely to lead to success. It is with this understanding that we have joined you here this morning,” the Deputy Minister said.

The Deputy Minister was speaking at a breakfast conversation on Addressing Violence against Women in South Africa, held in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, on Friday.

The department was invited by the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre to End Violence against Women to speak on government’s accountability in addressing femicide.

The Minister said that when forming alliances between state institutions and women’s movement actors such as Tshwaranang, the outcomes are likely to lead to success.

“By providing health services to women, including sex workers, we are restoring the dignity for women who are in the margins of society. When we make calls for transformation and employment equity we are saying that South African women have a role to play in our economy.

“When we provide anti-retrovirals to victims of sexual violence and rape, we are further contributing to the restoration of their dignity. When we develop policies to provide free sanitary products to learners, students and women under the care of the state, it is because we care about their dignity,” she said.

The Deputy Minister said as they work together to transform the socio-economic patterns of the country’s inherited history, it is their collective responsibility to ensure that the privileges that separate society and distinguish between the powerful and the powerless are dismantled.

The Deputy Minister further suggested that systems of domination are enforced and reproduced by constant practices of compliance with existing structures of power inequalities.

She noted that from a very early age, women take to structures of domination as normal features of their world, warning that they can no longer afford to be inattentive to the psychological impact of domination.

“Freedom from domination is only possible if we recognize how these systems are reproduced, and how both men and women contribute to that reproduction. That is why efforts to end gendered violence must include both men and women.

“Until we are all able to accept and recognise the specific ways that systems of domination are maintained, we will continue to act in ways that undermine our quest for collective liberation. The task awaiting the struggle against violence on women is to move from awareness to action,” the Minister said. – SAnews.gov.za

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